DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (Aug. 23, 2017) – For the third year in a row, Mercy College Athletics will recap the year by counting down the Top-10 most memorable moments of the 2016-17 season, with all 10 sports represented.
Mercy College Athletics will release a Top-10 moment, as chosen by the athletics staff, with a weekly recap every Wednesday throughout the summer, culminating with the top moment from the 2016-17 athletic year being unveiled on August 23rd.
No. 1 – Softball Wins First-Ever ECC Championship and Appears in NCAA Tournament for First Time
Our No. 1 moment in year three of our top-10 goes to softball who earned their first-ever ECC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, winning their first-ever NCAA Tournament game.
The Mavericks entered the season off a 22-28 record in 2016 and were picked sixth in the ECC Preseason Coaches Poll. However, with the addition of ten newcomers, Head Coach Mike Fazio was optimistic about the upcoming season.
Mercy began their 2017 season on March 21st when they earned a sweep of Southern Connecticut State as newcomer Cassidy Wootten recorded a team-high four RBI. The 2-0 start for the Mavericks was their first since the 2009 season and was the beginning of a special season.
The Mavericks continued their strong start as they swept LIU Post for the first time in program history on March 24th to improve to 4-0. After a pair of losses to Pace, Mercy rattled off wins in nine of their next ten games to improve to 13-3 and 7-1 in ECC play. During the streak, the Mavericks swept perennial ECC power Molloy for the first time since 2009 on the road and sat in first place.
Mercy continued to play well and after a sweep of Felician on April 20th the Mavericks held a 24-8 record with NCAA Tournament aspirations in the distance. After Mercy dropped a doubleheader to No. 17 Caldwell on Senior Day, the Mavericks bounced back with a sweep of NYIT the next day to move to 26-10 and 15-5 in ECC action.
On April 26th, Mercy was ranked fourth in the NCAA Regional Rankings and followed that up by splitting a doubleheader with Bridgeport on April 27th. The Mavericks concluded the regular season by sweeping LIU Post to secure the program's first-ever ECC Regular Season Title. Mercy ended up sharing the regular season title with Molloy but the Mavericks held a 3-1 edge in the season series and earned the No. 1 seed in the ECC Tournament.
Mercy hosted the ECC Tournament on May 4th and took on LIU Post in a first round matchup and continued their winning ways over the Pioneers as they came through with a 5-2 victory. During the day, the Mavericks received news that a school-record seven were named to the ECC All-Conference Teams and Fazio was named Coach of the Year. Morgan Lloyd was tabbed Co-Player of the Year and Skania Lemus, Julie Gross, Wootten, Kendall Meeks and Destini Bullock were First Team selections, while McKaily Cusumano was a Second Team recipient.
The Mavericks continued to show their toughness and came through with a 3-2 victory over NYIT on May 6th to advance to the championship series of the ECC Tournament. Mercy needed one win to earn the conference championship and would have to do it against an LIU Post team they had already beaten five times.
After dropping the first game to the Pioneers, the Mavericks rebounded and took home a 7-0 victory to claim their first-ever ECC Championship and earn the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Cusumano tossed a shutout and Kaylee Stevens smacked a grand slam to help propel the Mavericks with Cusumano being named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship.
Mercy went on to earn the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament East Region bracket and would be playing at Adelphi in the double-elimination setup. Before the tournament got underway, Lloyd and Lemus were tabbed First Team All-East Region selections by the NFCA.
The Mavericks took on New Haven in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game on May 11th and Cusumano tossed a four-hitter and Lemus recorded an RBI to give Mercy a 3-1 victory over the Chargers.
Mercy's season came to an end the next day as they dropped contests to Wilmington and Adelphi to see their season come to an end at 33-16. The 33 wins set a school-record for wins in a season and Fazio will look to continue to build onto the success from the historic 2017 season.
Schedule for the Top-10 Moments of the 2016-17 Season
Every Wednesday for the next 10 weeks, the Mercy College Athletics Department will release the Top-10 moments one at a time beginning with the No. 10 moment on Wednesday, June 21. The No. 1 moment will be unveiled on Wednesday, August 23.
No. 1 – August 23